Thursday, May 29, 2014

#AskAwayFriday: Is There an Echo in Here??

Yeesh! It's been a busy week. I've spent 9 hours over the last three days learning all there is to know about PowerPoint. Actually, I take that back. This was just the beginner lever class.  But still, I feel like I've barely been in my office at all. And honestly, depending on when you read this, I'm not likely in my my office on Friday either. I'm going on a field trip with Henry's class. 

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This week for #AskAwayFriday, I am paired up with my friend Echo from Domain of the Mad Mommy. She has an awesome sanity saving tip you are going to want to check out! Echo and I met through a Facebook group of funny people. She and I have a similar sense of humor since I was totally able to get away with calling her a hussy last week. You might think that would have been the end of our friendship, but apparently not!!
Shortly after this conversation, Echo posted that she needed a swap buddy for this week, and I jumped at the chance to ask her some questions. I figured I'd already been rude to her, I might as well be nosy too!

If you're not familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a great way to meet new people and get really nosy! You pair up and swap ten questions with your partner to be answered in a post on Friday. #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County, and is now hosted by these #AskAwayFriday hosts…
NEWAskAwayFridayHost550
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom
 
And now for the questions from Echo:

1. Let's talk names! You and I both have unique names. Both of my siblings have normal names. My children are kind of in between. How did you choose your kid's names? (Just for the record: I always pronounced your name correctly in my head) 
My siblings have totally normal names too!!  That's weird how that happened to both of us.  You can read the story of my name here and check to see if you are pronouncing it correctly. As for the kids, they have pretty normal, but not popular, names. My criteria were pretty simple when I named them. I was teaching, and I basically decided that I didn't want to call out a name all day and then go home and call it out some more. I didn't want to look at my kids and have flashbacks of "that kid" in my class.  We decided to go with pretty classic names that also honored family members. Benjamin's name was the toughest because I was totally convinced he was going to be a girl and we weren't prepared with a boy name when he was born.

2. Penguins. What's the deal? Are they your favorite animal? 
Yes, penguins are my favorite animal!  Why wouldn't they be?? They are are so cute!!  The gist is that I visited an aquarium on a high school trip.  They had a huge floor to ceiling enclosure with penguins. You could see them jumping around on the ice and you could also see then swim past you in the water. I was fascinated. I think I missed the rest of the exhibits because I wanted to spend so much time there. I used to collect them more often, but I still have quite a few penguin items around the house and in my office.

3. I've noticed that you like to make lists. What are your favorite lists to make? 
My favorite list is a to do list. And my favorite part is crossing off all the items until I can throw the list away.  There's just something so satisfying about scratching through that last item on a page!

4. You have been blogging since 2007. That is quite the accomplishment. What is the best piece of advice that you can give to new bloggers? 
Link to me!  Hahaha! Just kidding. I mean, you can do that if you want, but it probably won't get you very far! I guess my best piece of advice is to blog for yourself.  Write what makes you happy. Interact with the people that support you. You can probably maintain a blog for other reasons, but I'm not sure it would be as fun.

5. Would you rather take a romantic vacation with no kids or a family vacation? 
As much as I'd like to say romantic vacation, I really honestly think I'd rather have a nice family vacation. Ken's work schedule is such that he doesn't get to spend a lot of time with the kids. When he has the rare weekend (or even just Saturday OR Sunday) off, we try to spend time together as a family.

6. If you could learn how to cook one thing perfectly, what would it be? (Bonus: What is the best thing that you cook right now?) 
I want to learn to cook my dad's spaghetti. I've gotten the basic recipe figured out, but it never quite tastes right. And the hard part is that there really isn't a recipe, per se. He just starts adding things and it turns out amazing every time. My biggest hurdle is that his sauce is always so much thicker than mine.
On the other hand, I think there are a number of things that I cook well. I found this awesome recipe for beef with broccoli that will make it hard for me to ever order Chinese food again. I also make an awesome potato salad. Henry loves my sloppy joes. Frances loves the yogurt soup recipe that I got from my mom. Ken says my oatmeal raisin cookies are better than anyone else's. And Benjamin...well, Benjamin likes peanut butter sandwiches!!
Yogurt Soup...Yum!

7. If you could bring back ANY TV show for a new season, which show would you bring back? 
Buffy!  Or Angel!! Or, wait...maybe The Cosby Show. NO!! The Golden Girls!  I loved that show!! But then I'd get even further behind on my current shows. I honestly don't think I've watched a non-animated show all month!

8. You are a co-author of a fabulous book! Have you considered writing your own? 
I've thought about it, but every time I come up with a story line I feel like it's been done before. Then I tell myself that all the story lines have been done before and the details are what set it apart. But then I tell myself it's still copying someone else.   Maybe someday I will resolve this argument in my head and get something on paper.

9. You and I have similar senses of humor. Tell me a joke. Make me laugh. DO IT! 
Seriously!?!   Tell a joke under pressure!  Ack!! 

OK...
What's brown and sticky??

A stick!!

Don't like that one?

OK, try this...

What's pink and fluffy?

Pink Fluff!

Still, no?

Last try...

What's blue and fluffy?

Pink fluff in disguise!

How'd I do??

10. What are the top 3 blog posts that you have ever read or written? 
This is a toughie!! Narrowing things down to just three awesome blog posts seems pretty daunting. So I cheated. Sorry: my blog, my rules.

These are in my "Top 3" written by other people:
The "Top 3" that I've written?
Tell me your favorite joke in the comments? Are you better at being funny under pressure than I am?

Do forget to stop by Echo's blog and check out her answers too!

Milestones No One Tells You About

I've been searching through my draft folder and trying to finish up some things that have been sitting there for a while. I had this thought back at the beginning of March and jotted down some ideas, but then life got really crazy and I never finished. Just the other day, I had another one to add and so I decided I should finally finish this one and get it out there.

When you are preparing for parenthood there are lots of books to read and websites to check on so that you can get yourself ready. There are lists of things you need, lists of things you don't need, lists of questions to ask your doctor about, and lists of things to not panic over. Then you find the charts and the graphics all describing baby's first year.  We tear up over thoughts about first steps, first words, and even first dates.

These, however, are not on any of those lists. These are the milestones no one tells you about!


  •  The first time you have to look twice to figure out if it's your underwear or your daughter's. You might get confused between your husband's and your son's. I like to joke that because of kid sizing, Frances wears a larger size than I do. She doesn't seem to think it's funny!
  • The first time they ask you a word to spell and you're not sure of the answer (rebellion).  I'm a pretty good speller. I'm even a pretty good oral speller. I was runner up in a spelling bee once!  But Frances has now reached the point in her reading and writing that I can't always spell the word she needs without writing it down or even typing it out to see the spell check!
  • As a corollary,  we have also reached the end of my history knowledge, so when Frances has a clarifying question about a Civil War battle or a famous historical figure, she either has to ask Ken, or we have to look it up together.
  • When your kid walks up the steps with alternating feet instead of two feet on each step. Benjamin does this most mornings on our daily trek up two flights of stairs to his preschool class. It took me a while to figure out what was different about his walk and then one day I noticed he wasn't doing the stutter-step as often. 
  • When they can read without talking and/or moving their lips.  Frances and Henry both love to read. The difference is that I don't always know what Frances is reading about.  She can read in her head. Henry still reads out loud and sounds out some of the words (which is totally normal because he's just finishing 1st grade!)
  • When they stop announcing that they are going to the bathroom. Have you seen The Shawshank Redemption?  It's one of my favorite movies. It's set in a high security prison and follows the friendship formed between two inmates in particular.  One of them, played by Morgan Freeman, is released on parole after about 20 years behind bars. He gets a job as a bagger at a grocery store. In one scene near the end, he raises his hand and asks his supervisor for permission to go to the bathroom.  The guy mentions that he doesn't need to ask, he can just go, but Freeman's character comments that after 20 years of asking permission to pee, he can't actually go unless someone says so. That's a long round-about way of pointing out that Frances has finally stopped asking permission to go to the bathroom at home.  Henry usually doesn't ask, but Benjamin almost always does.  In fact, he asks to go and then, if we're lucky, we get a play-by-play from the bathroom!!
How about you? Any surprising milestones in your house lately?

And a shout out to my buddy Angela, who had this same idea a while ago. Great minds think alike, huh?!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#TuesdayTen: 2014 Summer Bucket List

Happy Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed the long weekend if you were fortunate enough to have one. We got a bunch of housework done, Ken and I had the chance to go out for dinner with some friends, and on Monday we went berry picking at the strawberry patch. It was a great weekend with great weather and we are very thankful.
It seems like the perfect intro to this week's #TuesdayTen list. WIth the unofficial start of summer behind us, it is a great time to put together a bucket list for Summer 2014! If it looks similar to the list I posted last year that's because I'm a creature of habit!

  1. Vacation-We don't have a lot of vacation stuff planned this year, but we are going to the beach with Ken's family for part of a week.
  2. Camping-Benjamin has never been camping. We tried a year or two ago, by pitching a tent in the backyard, but he was too squirrely and I ended up bringing him inside so Ken and the other two could sleep. I feel like Ken misses a lot of these milestones because of his work schedule, so I'm really hoping we can take the kids camping together this summer.
  3. BBQ-I am fortunate that Ken enjoys cooking and does so at least two to three times a week. In the summer it's probably more often because he loves to grill! I have no problem reliquishing that task.
  4. Fireflies-I am noticing lately that we are less and less tied to naptimes and bedtimes as our youngest has gotten older. It's still a good idea to keep up with those routines, but the fallout is nowhere near as bad as it used to be if we miss a nap or stay up late. I am really looking forward to nice nights, under the stars, filling jars with fireflies.
  5. Water play-I'm actually not a huge fan of swimming. It's mostly due to Ken's work schedule because there is no way I'm taking three kids to the pool by myself. However, summer time is perfect for sprinkler time in the front yard and the kids LOVE that!
  6. Summer Camps-I work year-round, so for the past few years the kids have done what I call "camp hopping" for the summer. There is a pretty good variety of summer camps offered around here and a few near my parents that Henry and Frances take advantage of. It's cheaper than enolling them for summer care at a local day care, and more interesting as well. They get to do something different every week and that keeps their interest. This summer, Frances is even going to her first sleep-away camp!
  7. Hiking-Another activity Ken loves to do is hiking. I'm hoping we can get in some nice family hikes this summer. He usually doesn't have Saturdays off, but Sundays are more likely and a flexible church schedule makes them more possible.
  8. Summer food-I have a huge list of foods that I look forward to every summer! Veggies from our garden, fresh fruits like peaches and watermelon, cucumber soup, potato salad, S'mores, etc. Bring it on!!
  9. Outside time-I've compared myself to a cat before, but in all honesty I wonder if I am more reptilian in nature. I'm not cold-blooded in the sense that I am cruel or heartless, but I really do thrive on sunshine. There have been a few times lately that I've just gone outside to sit in the sun for a few minutes to recharge. I am really looking forward to more time in the sun this summer!
  10. Clean out the basement-OK, this one isn't necessarily fun, but it sure is important! I recently did the seasonal clothing swap for ths kids, but I haven't finished taking all the "not right now" clothes back downstairs. It leaves a nice open area in the basement that is motivating me to get organized down there, so I don't lose the spacious look when I do get the bins back down there.
How about you? Do you have big plans this summer? Or even small plans that you are really looking forward to? Share with us in your own Summer bucket list or tell me in the comments.

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:

TheLiebers
The Teacher Wife
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Meet our co-host for the month of May, Mrs. Tee!!


Please make sure to check out her blog and follow her on social media!
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Monday, May 26, 2014

The Post that is NOT About Potty Talk!

I wrote about some Frances-isms back in 2009 because of some cute things she said that I wanted to remember. I don't think I've written about any cute things that Henry has said, which makes me feel a little bit sad. It's not that he doesn't say cute things, I just forget to write them down. So today I am writing down some of Benjamin's latest quotes:

While eating SweeTarts after dinner one night, he went into the bedroom where his brother and sister were getting ready for bed.  He held out a SweeTart in his hand and said, "I hab a SweeTart an' I not afwaid to use it!"  This had his siblings laughing hysterically and I thought it was pretty funny too. I told him he should go say that to his father. He looked worried for a second and maybe he thought he was in trouble, but I said, "Go tell Daddy! He'll laugh!"  Then he realized he had eaten the last piece of his candy, so he started to spit it out into his hand. "Stop!" I laughed!! "You don't have to have the candy, just go say it to Daddy!"

One morning as I was helping him get ready for school, he started dancing around singing, "pee, pee, peepee, pee, pee, peepee, etc."  Then he looked at me very seriously and said, "Mommy, dat's not potty talk!  P is a wetter. I'n singin' about da wetter P, not da potty talk pee."

Then he sings a little bit more of the same song. Again he pauses, "Mommy, did you know dat P wike da wetter and peepee wike da potty talk whyme?! Dey whyme because dey have da same sound: peeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"

He's so smart!

What have your kids been saying lately that makes you grin?

Friday, May 23, 2014

#AskAwayFriday with Rea of REAlity Bites

Happy Friday! For many people this is a three-day weekend, and the kids and I are no exception. The best part is that we don't even have plans! Henry doesn't have a soccer game because of the Memorial Day holiday and I didn't make other plans to do anything. Hopefully the weather cooperates and we can enjoy some time outside and get some work done in and around the house as well.
This week for #AskAwayFriday, I am pairing up with Rea from REAlity Bites. Rea is a 20-something working mom in the Philippines. She has been married for about three years and has an adorable little boy naked Reiko. I have enjoyed getting to know her through our swap and I think you'll like her blog too, so don't forget to go check it out!

If you're not familiar with #AskAwayFriday, it's a great way to meet new people and get really nosy! You pair up and swap ten questions with your partner to be answered in a post on Friday. #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County, and is now hosted by some new #AskAwayFriday hosts…
NEWAskAwayFridayHost550
Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom

And now on to my answers to Rea's questions:
1. I've read your post about ten things that make you cry. I usually cry when I'm so hungry and I think that's just funny! Which one on your list is the funniest or most ridiculous thing that makes you cry? And why?
I'm going to go with the most ridiculous thing that makes me cry and that's: Getting angry. I hate that I cry when I get mad. I feel like I can't defend my point or argue my side anymore because I'm too busy wiping away tears or snot. And then I get more mad because I'm crying and the cycle continues!
2. If you could be anywhere doing anything right now, where would you be and what would you be doing?
Right now? I'd be sitting on my couch, curled under a blanket, reading a book. Instead I'm at work dealing with credit card charges and budgets and so many numbers my head hurts!!
3. I started my blog as a personal journal around 2009. You've been blogging since 2007, what do you think has changed most about "blogging" in general since you started?
I think blogging seems much more like a business now than it used to. That might be because I've gotten closer to the business aspect of it. I know there are lots of blogs out there written solely for fun, but a majority of the people I interact with are trying to make money off it, even if it's just to pay hosting fees. I should also say I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If you can write and engage people and make a little (or a lot) of money from it, why wouldn't you!?!

4. I've read from your posts that you love your job. I love my job too but it gets into me sometimes that I'm thinking of quitting. What do you think are some signs that someone has to quit his or her job?
I really do love my job. The people I work with are great. The tasks I have are varied and challenging. The schedule is great and very flexible, so it allows me to be a mom when I need to be for field trips, school programs, or sick kids. To be honest, I don't really have a choice to work or not, so I am extremely thankful to have such a great job. I think there are some noticeable signs that someone might want to think about quitting their job. I know it isn't always possible to have a job that you truly enjoy going to, but if you are miserable every single day, it might be time to think about leaving. If you work somewhere where you are not valued and respected, you might consider quitting. If you feel burnt out and unable to perform your job satisfactorily, it's probably a good time to start looking elsewhere.
5. We know how parents can be so protective of their kids as they grow up and experience the world. Since you have a ten-year old girl, what are you most protective of? Or are there any things that you're scared of as she grows up?
Frances is a sweet girl and very trusting. She is very naive. I worry that she's going to get her heart hurt by someone who takes advantage of her giving and caring nature. I remember once when she was about four, we took a preschool field trip to an arcade. At the arcade the owners gave all the kids four quarters to try out the video games. Most of the kids were not very good at them, but a few knew what they were doing. An older kid came up to Frances and told her that is she would give her her quartes, she would try and win the game for her. She totally fell for it and handed over her quarters to allow the girl four extra chances. I just hoope that as she gets older she makes good choices and sticks up for herself when she needs to.
6. Aside from anyone in your family, who is the most interesting person you've ever met?
I think I've met lots of interesting people. Living in a college town and working on campus, I have had the opportunity to come into contact with lots of different people. I met Glennon Melton from Momastery once when she came to JMU. I think she's a pretty interesting person because of all the things that have happened in her life and how she uses them to become stronger instead of letting them get her down.
7. What are your three most favorite things to do?
Easy (and boring)! In no particular order, I greatly enjoy reading, surfing the internet, and sleeping!
8. Which actress plays in the lifetime movie about your life?
Somebody asked me this before and I couldn't think of an answer. Afterwards, I asked Ken. He is the movie buff in our house and he knows the names of lots of different actors and actresses. He had some good answers, but I'm pretty sure he was just trying to compliment me by naming hot actresses like Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Mandy Moore.
I asked my friend Deserae and she suggested Julia Roberts. I like her. She's been in some good movies that I liked.
I also asked my best friend, Julie, and she offered up Patricia Heaton. I remember her from Everybody Loves Raymond and she's pretty saucy. I'll take that as a compliment. Then I made the mistake of asking my younger brother...
9. You've been married for 12 years! In all those years, what was the worst advice you've ever heard about love and marriage? Does not necessarily have to be a direct advice to you.
I think this has probably been said to me a few times, but it's a pretty general piece of advice that I disagree with. "Don't go to bed angry" just seems silly to me. There are plenty of times where one or the othe of us has needed time to cool off and get some perspective. I get really cranky when I'm tired and that just doesn't seem conducive to reaching an agreement. I also don't think it's a good idea to solve an issue for the sole sake of solving the issue. If I were tired enough, I'd agree to just about anything just to go to sleep. LOL!!
10. For you, does attachment always equate to love? It can be attachment to people, things, and others.
I think attachment signals desire, but that's not the same as love. I think that you are likely attached to everything that you love, but you are not necessarily in love with everything you are attached to.
And that's it for #AskAwayFriday this week. Don't forget to stop by Rea's blog and see how she answered the questions I asked her. If you're looking for a swap buddy, my calendar is pretty free, so let me know.
And then tell me in the comments who should play me in the Lifetime movie about my life! Hurry, the casting director could be calling for my suggestion any day now!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mary & Martha with Julie {Review and Giveaway}

There's a Bible story I hear frequently that always makes me laugh.  The story of Jesus' visit to the home of his friends Mary and Martha has some great lessons in it.  In the story, Mary sits at the feet of Jesus listening and learning while Martha flits around the house, presumably vacuuming and making sure her kids flushed the toilet last time they were in there (or whatever the first century equivalent is). Martha complains that Mary is letting her do all the work, but Jesus says that Mary has made the better choice.

I've heard plenty of homilies on this story. People are always talking about how they wish they could be more like Mary in all kinds of different scenarios.  The thing is, I've never sided with Martha in all the times I've heard the story. I'm not saying that to prove what a great Christian I am. It's my proof of what a horrible housekeeper I am! It wouldn't take Jesus coming over to my house to distract me from cleaning. Pretty much anything would qualify!

So when my Julie became a consultant for Mary & Martha, and invited me to a party, I grinned a little.  I love going to Julie's house. Our kids love playing together and there are even times when they leave us alone long enough to have a (short) conversation.  I also know that it is totally Julie's fault that I got hooked on jewelry by attending parties at her house, but I totally forgive her for that!

Mary & Martha is a home-based business founded by Hallmark subsidiary Day Spring in 2006. Their goal is to provide beautiful, easy ways to entertain. They sell home decor items as well as kitchen and tableware, gifts, stationery and items for kids. Their model is based around the home party that has been so successful for Tupperware and Mary Kay, but they also allow online orders and Facebook parties which reflects the reality of our times.
http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/11990/

I am excited to introduce you to their products today and to help Julie get her business started. You can browse through the catalog here and see what you think. (Please note, visiting this site first will add a cookie that allows you to view the other links on this page.) There are so many amazing pieces here!

How about this cute 3-D puzzle for your kids?
http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/shop/productdetail.aspx?prod=54432

I love these jute placemats that remind me of the little things in life.
http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/shop/productdetail.aspx?prod=54432
This quote from Micah 6:8 has been a favorite of mine since high school as it was a sub-theme of many retreats I was involved in.
http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/shop/productdetail.aspx?prod=83737
I really love their bakeware items. They have disposable plates as well as cupcake liners, loaf pans and bundt pans. How awesome would it be to show up at a party with a fresh loaf of bread you baked yourself in one of these beautiful liners? And then you don't have to worry about getting your pan back or washing it afterwards!

If you've stuck around this far, I've got some great news!  Julie has offered to give one of my readers a $30 gift certificate to Mary & Martha. Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway and cross your fingers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Or if you can't wait, you can go over to her catalog page and order something right now.  Additionally, if you head over to Julie's Facebook page and schedule a Facebook party, mention this post. Julie will give you an extra 15% off your party order, in addition to the regular hostess benefits. But wait! There's more!! Julie also has a promotion on her Facebook page right now. When she hits 50 likes, she going to be giving away some Mary & Martha coffee.

Phew!  That's a lot of awesome all in one place!!  So what do you see that you'd love to have??

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Grammar Rules That Apply to Real Life

If you read the posts from my #AskAwayFriday partners, you'll know one of my favorite questions has been to ask about unfinished drafts. "What's the oldest draft in your unfinished folder and why haven't you finished it?"  So far I know of three people who have finished a draft after being asked about it. Last week the question got turned around on me and I admitted that one of my oldest drafts is one that has been there for quite a while. 

It was an idea that originally came to me one morning between dreamland and the shower.  It sounded like a great idea and I had great direction I was going to go with it. Then I went to write things down, got distracted, and couldn't write fast enough. The idea was lost. And for a while, my kids and husband wanted to know why our shower wall said "grammar." Did I mention that I tried to use a tub crayon to capture this idea?

Yesterday I went to a training session about business writing and proofreading and pieces of it started to come back to me, so I've decided to get it finished.

"When will we ever use this in real life?"  A teacher's most beloved hated question.  I even heard it a  few times when I was teaching second grade. There are a few things we learn in school that we won't use after, but many of the lessons we are taught are part of the foundation for later education.  I've also noticed that there are times when I am trying to learn about one thing and instead I find myself learning about something completely different, but tangentially related.

Back to my business writing class. My original thought had been about the similarity between grammar rules and life rules.  Here are just a few that made me think:

In writing, it is preferable to use the active voice.
For example: The boy kicked the ball.
Not: The ball was kicked by the boy.
In life, if is recommended to take an active role in things instead of passively letting life pass you by.

In writing, subjects and verbs should agree.
For example: The class is ready to learn.
Not: The class are ready to learn.
In life, it is good to seek agreement with other people.

In writing, it is wise to avoid long sentences.
For example: A birthday party has four main components: friends, cake, presents, and fun.
Not: When planning a birthday party you should contact as many friends and family members as possible and ask them to bring gifts for the birthday person, which will be opened after the cake and ice cream have been served.
In life, it is a good idea to not ramble on for hours when you have nothing to say. It's also a good idea to keep tabs with your audience to make sure they care about what you are saying.

In writing, transitions help you to be understood.
For example: We had plans to go to the park. However, the rain kept us at home.
Not: We had plans to go to the park. The rain kept us at home.
In life, it is important to anticipate transitions from one task to another or one stage to another. It is especially important with children, who crave consistency and feel safest when they know what is coming next.

In writing, it is considered bad form to begin every sentence with the word "I."
For example: I think it is nice to think of others. Thinking of others is good for you. It gives you a perspective other than your own to think about.
Not: I'm not going to write a bunch of sentences that start with "I." I think you can think of some on your own.  I would hope that is not too taxing on your brain.
In life, talking solely about yourself win not win you any friends. People want to connect with others that care about them and want to hear from them. Life is not all about you!

In writing, do not begin every sentence with "but."
For example: I would love to try that idea out!
Not: But we've never done it that way before!
In life, it is a good idea to try some new things every once in a while. Step outside your box once in a while and see what happens.

In writing, it is good to keep things simple and use language that is understood by everyone.
For example: It's time to get off the iPad now.
Not: Please terminate your video game expediently!
In life, it is good to keep things simple. That Pinterest project is likely to stress you out. No one really lives in a decorating magazine. They just frame their pictures that way to fool you.

In writing, it is more important to be consistent than it is to be correct.
For example: When Frances owns something I say it is Frances'. 
Not: Sometimes things are Frances' and sometimes they are Frances's.
In life it is good to be consistent so that people know what they can expect from you. In parenting, it is important that your kids understand that no means no; or else they will forever bug you to change your mind (like you did last time). 
Are there any I've left out? A lesson you learned in one place that was applicable to another aspect of your life?
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